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Does Your Dog Have Lyme Disease?

Here are 5 signs to watch for.

Mobility Problems and Lameness

Lameness (limping) and general problems moving are the most common and sometimes only clinical signs seen in dogs infected with Lyme disease. Shifting leg lameness (i.e., standing with more weight on one limb, then shifting to another limb), exercise intolerance, increased sitting or lying down, or discomfort when an affected joint is taken through range of motion from Lyme-related arthritis (joint inflammation) or muscle pain.

Lethargy (increased fatigue)

Dogs infected with Lyme disease are more lethargic, which means they will act more tired instead of being awake and energetic. Lethargy occurs as a result of the immune system’s increased efforts to fight the Lyme disease bacteria through the production of antibodies and white blood cells. Body temperature elevation (hyperthermia) is often association with lethargy.

Hyperthermia (increased body temperature)

As the immune system of a Lyme disease-infected dog is stimulated to fight infection, hyperthermia occurs. A dog’s normal body temperature ranges between 100 to 102.5 F; Lyme disease leads to intermittent or consistent increases in body temperature.

Anorexia (lack of appetite) and Digestive Tract Upset

Lyme disease causes anorexia, which appears as a substantially decreased appetite or even to the point that all meals or treats may be completely refused. Anorexia can be caused by hyperthermia, arthritis , muscle pain, kidney failure, or other ailments associated with infection. In addition, dogs infected with Lyme disease may have vomiting or diarrhea.

Increased water consumption and Increased urine output

This can be caused by kidney failure from Lyme-disease. More water going in leads to increased urine output. Failing kidneys have a reduced ability to concentrate urine, and the dog will drink more water to compensate for that lack of kidney function.

Don’t Ignore the Signs!  Untreated Lyme disease can result in kidney failure, and eventually, death.
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5 Signs of Lyme Disease in Dogs

by Bill and Elizabeth Cooper

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